Sincil Bank Stadium, known for sponsorship reasons as LNER Stadium, is a football stadium in Lincoln, England which has been the home of Lincoln City since 1895. Previously, Lincoln City had played at the nearby John O'Gaunts ground since the club's 1884 inception. The stadium has an overall capacity of 10,120 and is colloquially known to fans as "Sinny Bank". It is overlooked by Lincoln Cathedral. Former Lincoln City chairman John Reames re-purchased the ground from the local council in 2000 at a cost of £175,000. The club had sold it in 1982 for £225,000 in order to fend off the threat of eviction, arranging a 125-year lease.
|Full name||LNER Stadium|
|Public transit||Lincoln Central (1.1mi)|
|Owner||Lincoln City Football Club|
|Field size||110 x 73 yards|
On 28 November 2008, the stadium hosted England U16s' 2–0 win over Scotland U16s to win the Victory Shield, an annual football competition between the four Home Nations at the Under 16 level. Martin Peters paraded the FIFA World Cup Trophy at the ground in March 2010 as part of its global tour.
On 10 December 2019, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) was confirmed as Lincoln City’s new stadium sponsor. Sincil Bank – the Imps’ home since 1895 – was renamed to the LNER Stadium in a 3 year partnership agreement. The stadium has previously been renamed in 2012 and 2013.
Lincolnshire Co-operative StandEdit
The largest stand at the stadium holds approximately 5,700 people. It is located on the Sincil Bank street side of the ground and is home to the majority of the Imps' supporters. The block nearest the Bridge McFarland/South Park stand was given to visiting supporters until 2013, but is now used for only home supporters. The lower block closest the South Park Stand has now been made a family seating area as the old family stand now takes visiting fans. This side of the ground was occupied by uncovered terracing ever since the club moved from their first home, the John O'Gaunt's Ground, in 1895. The terracing was cordoned-off in August 1994 and demolition work soon began. The stand was officially opened before Lincoln City's match with Hartlepool United on 4 March 1995. The stand cost around £1 million to build and meant that the stadium had been completely redeveloped from its previous state in the 1980s (at a total cost of £3 million). Over the years the stand has been known under three different guises, depending on sponsorship contracts. It was first known as the Linpave Stand and, in 1998, was sponsored by Simons Construction. It was named the Lincolnshire Co-operative stand in 2001, but is more commonly known as the Co-op stand. It was home to the LCFC band, which was originally put together by former manager John Beck in 1995 in order to increase matchday atmosphere.
St Andrews/The Selenity StandEdit
Constructed in 1987, the structure replaced the old St Andrews Stand, which was named after the street that runs all the way from Lincoln city centre to the stadium. The old stand was constructed in 1932 (replacing a small predecessor) and was made out of timber. It had a total capacity of 2,250, in a seated enclosure and a small bank of terracing at the front. By the mid-1980s, however, the entire stadium was in a state of decline and a renovation project began when the stand was demolished in the close season of 1986. The new stand opened in November 1987 but was smaller in size than originally envisaged, partly due to City's season-long drop into Conference football. Running only half the length of the pitch, it has a capacity of 1,700 and holds the press box and Directors' enclosure. This is in addition to the majority of the club's offices and corporate areas.
This was the traditional home-end up until 2013 but now takes visiting fans who bring large numbers of supporters. Built in 1990, the Stacey-West Stand is named after two lifelong supporters - Bill Stacey and Jim West - who died in the Bradford City stadium fire. It replaced the old Railway End terrace in 1990, which had a goods rail line running behind the enclosure until the line was demolished in the early 1990s. The Stacey-West Stand first had areas of terracing at either end with a large area of seating in between so that supporters had the choice of sitting or standing at games. However, when City were promoted to the old Division Two at the end of the 1997–98 season, the stand was made entirely terraced. This was because a number of large clubs then in Division Two, such as Manchester City, Stoke City and Burnley were expected to bring large travelling support to the ground. This convinced the club that the Stacey-West stand should hold visiting fans, rather than a portion of the Co-op Stand. However, when the club was relegated back to the old Division Three in May 1999, a grant by the Football Trust partially enabled just under 2,000 seats to replace the Stacey-West Stand terracing which meant that, for the first time in the history of Lincoln City, it was an all-seater stadium. The stand continued to house visiting supporters until it was given back to home fans in the 2002 close-season. But at the start of 2013/14 season it was announced that the stand would no longer be housing home supporters but only used as an away-end for large quantities of supporters. As of 2016 the stand is used for home fans on certain games.
Bridge McFarland StandEdit
Named as part of a two-year sponsorship with GoCar motor dealership in 2009. Previously named the I.M.P.S. Stand since 2003 when local company Industrial Marine Power Services signed a sponsorship agreement with the club. The stand was built in 1992 and houses 17 executive boxes, Strikers bar for supporters and companies using the executive boxes and the Centre Spot, a fans' bar that welcomes both home and away supporters on matchdays. It replaced the old South Park stand, which consisted of a small seated area and a terrace. As of 2013 visiting supporters now sit in half of the Bridge McFarland Stand and the Family Stand. If a large away crowd is expected then the Stacey West Stand is used to accommodate away fans instead.
The Family Stand was built in 1994. It is situated to the west of the St Andrew's/Selenity Stand, nearest the Bridge McFarland/South Park Stand and is directly adjacent to the players' tunnel. The land on which it was built was previously occupied by a small, open terrace. When the Family Stand was built, a new building – which incorporates the club's dressing rooms and treatment areas – was also erected. On top of the stand there is a police control box, which is used to keep a close watch on all areas of the crowd. City supporters can pay to sit in this stand, although much of it is often given over to children from local schools who are invited to watch the Imps as part of the club's Football in the Community programme.
Since mid-2008 the stand has been known as 'Poacher's Corner', a reference to Imps mascot Poacher the Imp. The 'Poacher's Club' initiative by Lincoln saw cheap ticket deals and other incentives offered to any parent/child combination, and Poacher's Corner became the focal point of the efforts.
In the start of the 2011-12 season, Lincoln City signed a sponsorship deal with Network Telecom Rentals Ltd, changing the stand's name to the 'NTR Family Stand'. As of 2013 this stand and half of the Bridge McFarland Stand is used for visiting supporters.
For the 2016-17 season the stand has been part of the University of Lincoln partnership, and through the "Uni Imps" scheme offers students and staff the chance to attend matches.
Other sports and concertsEdit
In 1958 the ground played host to a visit from Queen Elizabeth II. A major rock concert was staged at the ground in May 1966 which featured the Who, the Kinks, the Yardbirds and the Small Faces & many others. The facility has played host to many sports including local cricket finals, boxing, wrestling, athletics, cycling, lawn tennis and American football.
On the weekend of 19/20 May 2006, the Irish pop band Westlife and other supporting acts including Liberty X, Blue's Lee Ryan and Journey South performed in front of over 13,000 fans, the biggest concert ever to take place in the city of Lincoln. The event was organised by both Lincoln City and the City Council, with funding and profits being shared between the two. The club actually recorded a £44,000 loss but the venue had been put back on the map for future live events. Since a Bonfire Night 2006 live event has been held, and though on a much smaller scale (over 5,000 spectators), it featured several artists such as Lee Ryan again, former Steps star Lisa Scott-Lee's brother Andy Scott-Lee, Icelandic outfit Nylon and 2ToGo of X-Factor fame.
Future of the StadiumEdit
As of November 2019, the club is evaluating either redevelopment or moving to increase capacity and facilities at the ground.
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- David Conn (30 November 2009). "Lincoln look to supporters for survival". The Independent. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
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- Who remembers this? When the Sincil Bank name was altered just seven years ago Lincolnshire Live, 30 May 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019
- Sincil Bank renamed "The Gelder Group Stadium" thefootballnetwork, 9 August 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2019
- "GoCar Hand Club New Wheels!". Lincoln City Football Club. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- Joe McMicheal and Jack Lyons (2004). The Who Concert File. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1844490092. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- Kevin McDonnell (17 September 2006). "WESTLIFE A LINCOLN THE CHAIN; Pop group flop concert leads to a football power struggle". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- Interview with Vice Chairman Roger Bates, Vital Lincoln City, 16 November 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019
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